NEW FORCES IN THE WORLD'S LIFE 77 The collective of our epoch introduces a novelty. The collectives of former times, con- sisted of various differentiated groups, national, family, professional or class. Now the collective is generalized and made universal. The world seems to be moving toward a universal col- lectivism in which all differentiation disappears. In Communism, Fascism or National-Socialism we see clearly this process of depersonalization: all must think alike, have the same opinions; all personal originality is lost in the collective. This process of unification and universaliza- tion strikes hardest at the chosen individualist who belong to no group or collective. We are witnessing a reversion to the herd instinct, but in new, civilized and technicalized forms. The masses who have come into power want to live in these new, organized, but not organic, col- lectives. The mass-man is depersonalized, yet he can display more sacrifice and unselfishness than the bourgeois individualist. At the same time we see the influence of a factor which played a role as far back as the capitalistic society of the nineteenth century, and which served as the basis for the theories of Marx. This factor is economism.1 The power of economics was never so strong as in our time. Now nothing can escape its influence. Everyone is troubled 1 See next paragraph.